Turkiye, GCC States To Launch Talks For Free Trade Pact

Turkiye, GCC States To Launch Talks For Free Trade Pact

Turkiye has signed a deal with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to launch negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), Turkish Trade Minister Omer Bolat said on Thursday, as the government steps up efforts to expand economic ties with the oil-rich region.

Türkiye launched a diplomatic charm offensive in 2020 to mend ties with Gulf countries, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia, after years of tension.

Since then, it has signed deals worth billions with GCC nations, including Qatar, with which it enjoys strong ties.

“The agreement will liberalise trade in goods and services, facilitate investments and trade, and increase our country’s trade with the region,” Bolat said on social media platform X.

Ankara believed the talks would be completed as soon as possible, he added, saying the pact would lead to one of the world’s largest free trade areas, between Turkey and members of the GCC, with a total value of $2.4tn.

In a statement, GCC secretary-general Jasem al-Budaiwi said the accord to launch FTA talks “is a demonstration of the robust and strategic partnership between the GCC countries and Türkiye.”

He said it showcased successful cooperation between the GCC and Türkiye across various fields, including commerce, economics, and finance.

As ties have improved, Gulf Arab